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Chinese Nationalities and their Populations

Angel Pray Child Charity Foundation focus in the west-southern minority region, where there are many undeveloped minorities populations, such as Miao, Buyi, Shui, Bai, Zhuang, Yi etc.  Because those regions are mountain areas with less transportations, the economic is very undeveloped.  Many people still live on farms.  They have no fixed income.  The children are often dropped off the schools because of there is no money.

Minorities Shown Left to Right Descending by Population

Minority Population Minority Population Minority Population
Han 1,136,703,824 Zhuang 15,555,800 Manchu 8,846,800
Hui 8,612,000 Miao 7,383,600 Uygur 7,207,000
Yi 6,578,500 Tujia 5,725,000 Mongolian 4,802,400
Tibetan 4,593,100 Bouyei 2,548,300 Dong 2,506,800
Yao 2,137,000 Korean 1,923,400 Bai 1,598,100
Hani 1,254,800 Li 1,112,500 Kazakh 1,110,800
Dai 1,025,400 She 634,700 Lisu 574,600
Gelao 438,200 Lahu 411,500 Dongxiang 373,700
Wa 352,000 Shui 347,100 Naxi 277,800
Qiang 198,600 Du 192,600 Xibe 172,900
Mulam 160,600 Kirgiz 143,500 Daur 121,500
Jingpo 119,300 Salar 87,500 Bulang 82,400
Maonan 72,400 Tajik 33,200 Pumi 29,700
Achang 27,700 Nu 27,200 Ewenki 26,400
Jing 18,700 Jino 18,000 De'ang 15,500
Uzbek 14,800 Russian 13,500 Yugur 12,300
Bonan 11,700 Menba 7,500 Oroqin 7,000
Drung 5,800 Tatar 5,100 Hezhen 4,300
Gaoshan 2.900 Lhoba 2,300    


Miao Nationality

The Miao are one of the most ancient of China's nationalities, tracing their origins back more than 4,000 years. Prior to modernization of farming methods, they grew millet and buckwheat using the slash-and-burn methods. The Miao language has three main dialects, but there was no unified written script until 1956. Religions include nature and ancestor worship and Christianity.

Dispersed from southern China across northern Vietnam, Laos, and into Thailand, the Miao (also known as the Hmong), vary in dialect, styles of farming, and designation: Black, White, Red, blue, Flowery, and Cowrie Shell Miao among others. Forced southward by the Han, often despised and exploited, many settled in distant mountains, raising millet and buckwheat by slash-and-burn farming, their diet supplemented by domestic animals and hunting. Modernization, improved farming methods, organization of communes, and road building has been made difficult by the ragged terrain in which the Miao are scattered. The Miao are found in the Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Sichuan, Gansu, Guizhou, Qinghai, Hunan, Guangdong, and Yunnan Provinces and the Guangxi Autonomous Region. They are part of the Sino-Tibetan Miao-Yao ethno linguistic group.

About 195 km almost directly east of Guiyang in the town of Kaili. Kaili is a fairly uninspiring place but the area is host to a large number of minority festivals, over 130 annually. One of the largest is the Lusheng Festival, held from the 11th to the 18th of the first lunar month. The lusheng is a reed instrument used by the Miao people. Activities include playing the lusheng, dancing, drumming, bull fighting, and horse racing. Participants are said to number 30,000. The festival is held in Danxi. Other festivals are held midway in the 7th lunar month and in their New Year. Their New Year is celebrated in the first four days of the 10th lunar month by some 50,000 people.

About 752,000 Miao live in Yunnan Province scattered over eighty-seven counties. They are good at weaving, embroidery and Batik. Their excellent craftsmanship is well known.

(Bouyei Minority) (Buoyi) (Buoyei)

The Bouyei people were the aboriginal dwellers on the southeast Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. They evolved from the ancient "Luoyue" and "Liao" people. They have been variously known as the Dujunman (Dunjun barbarian) during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms and subsequently as "Zhongmiao", "Zhongjia", and "Bafan" during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Throughout these periods they always referred to themselves as "Buyi" or "Burao". With the founding of the PRC in 1949, following consultation with the ethnic group it was decided to agree upon the official name of Bouyei ethnic group.

The Bouyei people have their own language, which belongs to the Zhuang-Dai branch of the Zhuang-Dong group of the Chinese-Tibetan family. This language has no traditional written form and Han characters are widely used, although a written system based upon the Latin alphabet was created with government assistance after 1949. The Bouyei, sometimes spelled Bouyei or Bouyi, live near the Huangguoshu Falls in the Zhenning, Bouyei, and Miao Autonomous County in Guizhou Province. We visited there. See our trip there on our excursions menu. The Bouyei favor river valleys and it is prime water county. The Bouyei are the "aboriginals" of Guizhou. The people are of Thai origin and related to the Zhuangs in Guangxi. They number two million, mostly spread over the southwestern sector of Guizhou Province. Bouyei dress is dark and somber with colorful trimmings; 'best' clothes come out on festival or market days. The Bouyei marry early, usually at 16, but sometimes as young as 12. Married women are distinguished by headgear symbols. The Bouyei people can also be shy and suspicious of foreigners. They have a similar way of life to the Miao and their language is closely related to those of the Zhuang and Dai. They practice polytheism and ancestor worship.

Shui Nationality


The majority of the Shui dwell on the upper reaches of the Longjiang and Duliu rivers that meander across the plains and rolling land interspersed with vast expanses of forests in southern Guizhou Province. Others also can be found in the Guangxi Autonomous Region. The areas in which the Shuis live are lands of plenty, abounding in fish and rice. Wheat, rape, ramie are also grown, besides a great variety of citrus and other fruits. The forests are a source of timber and medicinal herbs. According to Shui tradition, guests should drink a bowl of wine before entering the village. The Shui people are all good dancers. At feasts of the Shui people, the tables are covered with delicious food, yet each guest is provided with only one chopstick. Anyone who wants to get the other one must sing "The chopstick Song" with the host.

About 4,000 Shui people live in Yunnan, mainly residing in the Huangnihe Administrative District of Fuyuan County, the Administrative District of Dahe and Long'an in Yiliang County. These Shui, as they migrated into Yunnan a long time ago have separated themselves from the Shui's in Guizhou. Their language and customs have become different from the Shuis in Guizhou. They have adopted a culture and customs somewhat similar to that of the Buyis.

The Shui have a language close to that of the Dong. Most are nature worshippers, but some are Catholics. They are part of the Sino-Tibetan Thai ethno linguistic group.

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